In summary, a lot of quite stressful things:
- I have gallstones and need my gallbladder out - I had a scan. This explains why I feel sick all the time and have been getting abdominal pain.
- B's parents have served us with court papers regarding contact with the children because our best attempts to sort it all out via mediation didn't work out. Merry-fucking-Christmas - Legal Aid doesn't exist any longer and we're going to have a severely curtailed few months to pay for a solicitor. I will not be writing any more about this for obvious reasons, but it's all still going on in the background.
- Social Services have finally been in touch. They have replaced the Social Worker who was so confrontational with another one and they want to come and have another assessment meeting. We have said that that is fine so long as our advocate can attend. Children's Services in Somerset are in a right mess generally and I think some of the hassle we have been having has been part of the fall-out from that.
- N had casts put on her feet and lower legs yesterday. This is positive in that it will correct her leg/foot position and therefore help her mobility. On the down side, though, she has to be recast every Monday between now and the New Year and, despite being a very fetching shade of hot pink, they are really, really uncomfortable to sleep in. She screamed literally ALL night and we are all absolutely ragged this morning. Hopefully she will get used to them quite soon.
At more length, some positive things:
Our first sleep-in with N's carer on Friday night went extremely well. It was a 'waking night' because N was so restless and so she went at 8am rather than taking N our for the morning. I woke once and so did B, to administer Calpol and check on her; but the rest of the time my subconscious seemed to be happy to let E get on with it and trust that she'd wake me if needed. I am so, so grateful to our friends who have made this possible for us by starting and or joining the Hundred Club on our behalf. It means that E will be coming in once a fortnight and we will at least have that much guaranteed sleep. I am still furious that Social Services are not sorting this out; but I guess that this is 'Big Society' in action - government lets you down, your community picks you up. We are lucky to have friends like this and I can't really express what it means to us to know we have that support - and that belief in us. I have taken the conscious decision not to ask who is involved because a part of me feels awkward accepting charity from friends. But I am still very grateful. I hope that makes sense - I know it's not entirely logical.
Also charity - the Well Child people phoned yesterday. They are going to come in January and revamp the area around the patio in to some raised beds so that N can do some gardening. She can no longer get down on the ground to garden in the 'ordinary' beds and she does enjoy it. There is also a suggestion that we could put a tiny bantam house for some teeny tiny bantams up on a level that means she could collect the eggs etc.. I have some Barbu d'Anvers bantams that would be a perfect size to fit. They are coming to do a site visit in the first week of January. I need to speak to our landlord; really hoping they are going to be as good about it as they usually are about this stuff.
We have had a brilliant weekend. Sunday was a beautiful day and we went up to Fyne Court on the Quantocks and had a leaf-collecting competition. The boys won with fourteen versus our thirteen, but no-one was particularly upset - it was more about chasing each other along the wheelchair path and seeing if there was anything in the pond worth dipping for. It was one of those 'golden days' that stay in your memory for ages.
We are taking a less proactive approach to dealing with our three-dozen-ish professionals. We are going to try to have one day a week as 'appointments day' and herd them all in to that*. That will mean that we have more time to spend on basic, day-to-day stuff.
For today, that is all.
* Apologies if you are one of our professionals reading this - I am picturing you as perfectly charming Maine Coon cats that can be tempted with small titbits rather than ornery sheep that need your heels nipping, honest!